Category: T. Barton Carter

The Conversation US – T. Barton Carter

February 25th, 2015 in 2015, College of Communication, Newsmakers, OP-EDs by BU Professors, T. Barton Carter, The Conversation US 0 comments

Regulating the web: what's at stake in FCC net neutrality vote

By T. Barton Carter, Boston University

On Thursday the Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to vote on new open internet access regulations, often referred to as net neutrality rules.

The nitty gritty details have yet to be disclosed, although the FCC is expected to propose regulating internet providers like public utilities. Nonetheless, the rules, if passed, will do little to resolve the major problem: the laws governing the internet were written in the early 20th century, decades before the companies that dominate the internet like Google and YouTube even existed. The only solution is a complete rewrite of the 80-year-old Communications Act – unfortunately a fool’s errand in today’s Washington.

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Fox may go dark on Thanksgiving

November 26th, 2014 in 2014, Boston Globe, College of Communication, Newsmakers, T. Barton Carter 0 comments

carter_t_bartonBoston Globe (subscription required)
T. Barton Carter, College of Communication

Turkey. Cranberry sauce. Football. Everyone knows what to expect out of a Thanksgiving celebration. But that Eagles-Cowboys game could be off the menu for hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts consumers…

Expert quote:

“Broadcasters started demanding more and cable companies have sometimes given in. Sometimes it’s gone to a long-haul fight.”

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Experts Media Alert: Supreme Court and Facebook

November 20th, 2014 in 2014, College of Communication, Experts Media Alert, Gerald Leonard, News Releases, School of Law, T. Barton Carter 0 comments

512px-Oblique_facade_2,_US_Supreme_CourtAre threats made on Facebook protected by the First Amendment? The Supreme Court will decide that when they hear the case of Elonis v. United States.

Anthony Elonis was an amusement park worker in Allentown, PA. In 2010, his wife left him and took their two children. After losing both his wife and his job, he became increasingly depressed and started posting several violent comments on Facebook which included threatening his wife, and saying he was going to blow up his former place of employment. All posts were written to resemble rap music lyrics. He was eventually arrested and convicted and served a 44-month sentence.

The following Boston University professors are available to offer commentary, insight, and analysis on the case:

carter_t_bartonT. Barton Carter is chair of the Department of Mass Communication in the College of Communication at Boston University. An expert in communications law, he has co-authored three textbooks: The First Amendment and the Fourth Estate, The First Amendment and the Fifth Estate,and Mass Communication Law in a Nutshell. Carter can be reached at 617-353-3479 or comlaw@bu.edu.

 

LeonardProfilePicGerald Leonard is a professor in the School of Law. He is an authority on constitutional and criminal law. He can reached at 617-353-3138 or gleonard@bu.edu.

For additional commentary by Boston University experts, follow us on Twitter at@BUexperts

Feds wonder: Is it time for Web TV?

October 4th, 2014 in 2014, College of Communication, Newsmakers, T. Barton Carter, The Hill 0 comments

carter_t_bartonThe Hill
T. Barton Carter, College of Communication

The Federal Communications Commission is considering a plan to treat some types of online television like cable…

Expert quote:

“In this field predicting more than about 10 minutes ahead is dangerous, but it clearly seems to be a direction they’re heading.”

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T-Mobile’s Legere Sputters Over FTC’s Cramming Accusations

July 2nd, 2014 in 2014, College of Communication, E-Commerce Times, Newsmakers, T. Barton Carter 0 comments

carter_t_bartonE-Commerce Times
T. Barton Carter, College of Communication

T-Mobile’s efforts to market itself as the un-carrier that puts customers first may be impacted by the United States Federal Trade Commission’s allegations that it has engaged in “cramming” — charging consumers for services offered by third-party companies without the consumers’ knowledge or authorization…

Expert quote:

“Turning over a new leaf still leaves T-Mobile liable for previous overcharges.”

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‘Pirate’ radio dots the suburbs

May 15th, 2014 in 2014, Boston Globe, College of Communication, Newsmakers, T. Barton Carter 0 comments

carter_t_bartonBoston Globe (subscription required)
T. Barton Carter, College of Communication

A government-enforced shutdown last month of three unlicensed community radio stations providing programming to ethnically diverse neighborhoods underscored the prevalence of so-called “pirate radio” not just in Boston, but also in its suburbs…

Expert quote:

“There just is an availability issue.”

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Aereo’s $97 million question for the Supreme Court

April 11th, 2014 in 2014, Boston Globe, College of Communication, Newsmakers, T. Barton Carter 0 comments

carter_t_bartonBoston Globe (subscription required)
T. Barton Carter, College of Communication

If you’re old enough to remember the days when VCRs and Betamax video recorders represented cutting-edge technology, you probably remember the controversy that accompanied them. You could record movies and TV shows off the air, and lend the tapes to your friends…

Expert quote:

“When it’s a mix of technology and law, you wonder how well the court will understand it, and what they will focus on.”

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Naysayers Wring Hands Over Comcast-TWC Merger

February 14th, 2014 in 2014, College of Communication, Newsmakers, T. Barton Carter 0 comments

carter_t_bartonE-Commerce Times
T. Barton Carter, College of Communication

After months of being courted by both Comcast and Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable has agreed to be purchased by Comcast for US$45.2 billion in stock…

Expert quote:

“Companies seeking to justify mergers almost always claim that economies of scale will increase efficiency and provide better service. In reality, however, they often reduce competition and thus the incentive to provide better, more affordable service.”

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Aereo Flies Higher on Court Ruling, App News

October 11th, 2013 in 2013, College of Communication, E-Commerce Times, Newsmakers, T. Barton Carter 0 comments

carter_t_bartonE-Commerce Times
T. Barton Carter, College of Communication

Aereo, the upstart TV streaming company that’s giving the broadcasting industry dyspepsia, has won yet another court case against broadcasters…

Expert quote:

“It is a war of attrition.”

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Court Rules Broadcasters Can’t Pull the Plug on Aereo

April 2nd, 2013 in 2013, College of Communication, Newsmakers, T. Barton Carter 0 comments

carter_t_barton1TechNewsWorld
T. Barton Carter, College of Communication

Aereo, a startup that streams TV content to Web-connected devices with the use of tiny antenna, won another legal battle Monday in its war with broadcast networks…

Expert quote:

“The primary issue here is that both the statutes and the broadcasters’ business models are heavily grounded in outmoded technology and assumptions based on that technology. The distinction between thousands of separate antennas creating separate copies, and one antenna creating multiple copies, is significant under the law, but not from a practical point of view. At some point the law needs to catch up with the technology.”

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